Sightseeing in Salzburg

Trip Start Apr 04, 2007
Trip End Oct 22, 2007

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Today started at a bit of a loose end. We switched rooms to get a better price for our last night, so we had to pack up all of our gear and stash it in what can best be described as a 'travel pack salad' in the basement. We had to wait a couple of hours before we could check back in so we hit the town.

Salzburg is actually very pretty once you reach a gap in the tourist groups. Walking among the chic shops down the main shopping strip and people watching as the multitudes walk by was very entertaining. The continued prepencity for many to wear white clothing still makes us wonder, as in most cases it is very see through, and not in a good way.

We wandered through town to the giant cathedral, the Dom, and took photos with the morning light streaming inside. It was still fairly quiet in this area so we enjoyed peacefullness of the beautiful church where Mozart spent most of his adult working life. After that we wandered up to the catacombs, a small chapel that was built into the rock face below the castle. It was fairly tiny inside, but only 1 Euro for entrance and well worth it. There was still some evidence of the original decoration on the rock faces, and the chapel inside the rock had a completely different feel from the giant, ornate cathedrals. More humble we think. The upper area of the catacombs has a look out over the beautiful graveyard and St. Peter's church, as well as a upper burial chamber with carvings for a few of the people buried there.

We continued to walk through the squares and back to the other church that was grossely decorated with too much gold and pink marble. Gabrielle had read about one area of it that still had some of the original frescoes on the church wall so we went inside to search for it. In our search we came across the grave of Michael Haydn, the younger brother of Franz Joseph Haydn, the famous classical composer. We found the original frescoe and found it much more to our liking than the gold and glitz.

We picked up some lunch and went to check back in to our hostel, only to be kept waiting for an hour. After finally getting our bags secured, and our valubles locked away, we set out with much lighter packs than our morning trip and went to see our first art gallery in a long time. On the way we walked through the Mirabell Gardens, the beautiful house and gardens of the mistress of an arch bishop and his 10 kids. He was a pious man, took his vows of celibacy very seriously, like his father, and his father before him.

In the gallery there was also an art festival going on where you could buy very expensive art, so there were a lot of folk, old and young, out in their best. All of the art was far out of our budget, so we skipped up a floor to the gallery for some fantastic paintings and an exhibit on 'Beauty and the Beast' - a theme of beautiful women with monstrous men in art (and a large bit of paintings on the story of Eros (Cupid) and Psyche - Greek Myth).

We tried the Dom again for the afternoon lighting, but missed the best part of the sun hitting the upper windows so we had to settle for less spectacular photos. We stopped for gelato and people watching on the walking bridge to lighten our moods, and listened to some street buskers. We got a bowl of gelato to share with 4 different flavours. One was called 'Mozart'... who knew he tasted like almond!

We got ourselves lost among the streets crossing the river and eventually found our way up to a hill top monestary that looked down to the city with some fantastic views. We sat up there for awhile enjoying the view and a dinner of sandwiches.... mmmm always more sandwiches. The trip up the hill had several diaramas depicting the stations of the cross, the different events that Christ went through up to the cruicifixtion. At top of the hill was a bronze statue of the cruixifiction itself, all in all a very cool lead up to the grand finale!

We headed back to the hostel, slowly wandering through the streets and soaking up the last rays of the sun.

All our best from Austria

Dan and Gabrielle
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